Super Sizing Alive and Well at Nation's Chain Restaurants

Nutrition Action Healthletter Illustrates How One ‘Serving’ Is Really More Like Two, Three, or Four

August 30, 2010

WASHINGTON—A typical burrito weighs about 5 ounces, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Yet a Chicken Burrito at Chipotle weighs four times as much, delivering 970 calories—including 300 calories from the white-flour tortilla alone. As Nutrition Action Healthletter illustrates in its September issue, Chipotle and other chain restaurants are reprogramming Americans’ expectations of what a “serving” of a food is.

Fortunately, calorie counts are soon coming to chain restaurant menu boards, thanks to the federal health care reform law now being implemented. And, from the article, here are 4 other examples of how far an actual serving exceeds the official serving size:

“Chain restaurants have helped dissolve any sense of perspective when it comes to what a reasonable serving of food is,” said Bonnie Liebman, nutrition director at the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest, Nutrition Action’s publisher. “When 300-calorie bagels and 1,000-calorie burritos became the norm, it’s easy to understand why two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese.”

Nutrition Action Healthletter is the largest-circulation health newsletter in North America, with 850,000 subscribers. Introductory subscriptions are $10 in the U.S. and $15 in Canada.


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